Poetry: Failing and Flying

Fail­ing and Flying
–Jack Gilbert
from Refus­ing Heaven

Every­one for­gets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the mar­riage fails and peo­ple say
they knew it was a mis­take, that everybody
said it would nev­er work. That she was
old enough to know bet­ter. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that sum­mer ocean
on the oth­er side of the island while
love was fad­ing out of her, the stars
burn­ing so extrav­a­gant­ly those nights that
any­one could tell you they would nev­er last.
Every morn­ing she was asleep in my bed
like a vis­i­ta­tion, the gen­tle­ness in her
like ante­lope stand­ing in the dawn mist.
Each after­noon I watched her com­ing back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the oth­er side of that. Lis­tened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the mar­riage failed? Like the peo­ple who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pret­ty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not fail­ing as he fell,
but just com­ing to the end of triumph.

Cur­rent Mood: 🤔nos­tal­gic
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
Posts created 4259

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